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Full Version: How long before you have to physically be in SD?
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*I can't find this info by searching this forum or dmv.org*
Suppose I buy a vehicle in some other state and register it through a mail forwarding service in South Dakota without physically being present in the state. How much time can I take to go tramping around the country before I have to physically be present in SD? 
Is it until my out of state drivers license expires?
I couldn't find anything other than standard residency, but that was 90 days: https://www.dmv.org/sd-south-dakota/apply-license.php I would just email/call one of the mailing address providers and ask. You won't just be just registering your vehicle, you'll be becoming a resident of SD, so there are a few steps that have to be taken, all of which can be done through the mail forwarding service except the driver's license. You probably already knew that.
You dont ever have to set foot in SD to keep residency and registration. You do have to spend a single night to get your license though... eventually.
If I remember correctly when I did mine a couple of years ago you do sign an affidavit claiming that you plan to make SD your permanent domicile eventually. I can't remember if they put time limit on when that should happen. But they are so full-time RV friendly that I would guess that they don't worry too much about it so I won't either.
I emailed a mail forwarder and they said that the vehicle insurance company may have some time limit. But they volunteered no other information.

Anybody have any personal experience with this?
I setup residence and vehicle registration back in 2013 (or 2014?) all over the phone and Internet. I hadn't ever set foot in the state until 2017. It is all perfectly legal and easy to do with either of the major mail forwarding companies in SD.

Gieco and Progressive both insured my SD vehicles without any issues

PS - Proof of vehicle insurance IS NOT REQUIRED in South Dakota. Neither is an emissions test.
(03-11-2018, 10:20 AM)Watch_Cowspiracy Wrote: [ -> ]*I can't find this info by searching this forum or dmv.org*
Suppose I buy a vehicle in some other state and register it through a mail forwarding service in South Dakota without physically being present in the state. How much time can I take to go tramping around the country before I have to physically be present in SD? 
Is it until my out of state drivers license expires?

That should work. But, as others have said, you need to be physically there to get a driver license -- the first time, anyway. After that they have a system for renewing remotely.

As for the affidavit promising to live in SD eventually, what can they do if you change your mind? There's no penalty, so the thing is pointless. I have a hunch it's to satisfy the federal government. SD wants to count nomads in their population numbers in order to increase the federal funds they get.
The affidavit is not a "promise" it is a legal and binding statement that you ONLY reside in SD. There are some legal implications to this that need to be considered.

1 - Any conceal carry permit from your previous home-state would be invalid, since you have signed a legal document stating that you residence in SD (permits are issued by the county you reside in, and the moment you move counties your CCW is invalid). This could make or break a lethal force use case against you, or even just get you arrested walking down the street with a concealed weapon that you no longer have a permit to be concealed.
2 - Medicare plan health insurance would also be invalid since they are done at the state level. South Dakota has pretty poor offerings in the Obamacare department. If you get free healthcare from your current state, you may want to do some heavy research before "moving" to SD.
3 - Your driver's license would also be invalid since you no longer live in the state it is issued from. This means that during the time that you have your vehicle registered in SD, and you do not have a SD driver's license, any cop with half a brain will know that one or the other is invalid. If you live in SD, then your license in the other state is no longer valid. Or, if your license is valid then your registration must be invalid. Either way, you get a ticket and possibly your vehicle towed (CA tows your car on the spot for driving without a license).

The driver's license issue is easy to fix - go to SD, spend a night, and get your license. Easy as pie. The CCW is pretty easy as well, but it involves staying 30-days in SD in the county of your residence before you can apply (and get) your permit. The Medicaid issue is harder to get past if you are an able-bodied person without a bunch of toddlers. SD does not offer Obamacare plans to able-bodied adults without children, leaving a lot of people without healthcare options.
> Your driver's license would also be invalid since you no longer live in the state it is issued from. This means that during the time that you have your vehicle registered in SD, and you do not have a SD driver's license, any cop with half a brain will know that one or the other is invalid. If you live in SD, then your license in the other state is no longer valid. Or, if your license is valid then your registration must be invalid

That bit I'm not clear on. I realize you can only be legally domiciled in one location, but millions of people have homes in multiple states, and register the cars where they are garaged.
You may only have a driver's license in your state of your *permanent residence*. You may only have one permanent residence, even though you may have multiple homes in multiple states. If you signed the affidavit (which you must) to become a SD resident, your non-SD license is now technically invalid as SD is now your permanent residence.

Of course, you can get away with your previous license for a long while (until it expires) but at risk of the cop pulling you over noticing that your vehicle is registered in SD and your license is from another state. It wont take too many brain cells for him to know one of the two is invalid and ticket you. 

Again, in some states, driving without a valid license will get your vehicle (and everything in it) towed on the spot. California takes your car on the first "willful offense" ( meaning, you knew it was invalid) and keeps it for 30-days in impound. You will spend thousands in impound fees to get it back and only AFTER you go to SD and get your valid license and bring it back to the courts in CA. You will not get your vehicle back from impound without a valid driver's license.

PS - driving without a valid license will most likely nullify your insurance as well. Something to think about.
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